I've been unemployed for a while now, so when I got a text on my phone telling me that my resume had been reviewed, and that they wanted to interview me on Google Hangouts, I didn't see anything wrong.
The details were, work at home customer service, 5 days of training at 8 hours a day for $12 an hour, then bumping me to $30 an hour for 8 hour days. In addition, they would be sending me a check (Red flag 1) to cover the setup of my home office, to include an HP Envy laptop, 3 in 1 printer, cell phone (which they would pay the monthly bill for) and software. When I said that I had all that equipment, I was told for warranty purposes, I needed to use their "approved" vendor in case something happened and work needed to be done. (Red flag 2). The company name they used was "Magnum Medical" out of Latvia.
Attempting due diligence, I Googled "Magnum Medical" and found their location in Latvia, in addition to a couple of locations in America, per websites. I then checked them on Glassdoor.com, and again, there was a page for them, but no real information. (Red flag 3)
So, they're supposed to FedEx me a check overnight. I was given the tracking number, and as it turned out, the package was being held at FedEx initially due to "incorrect address", which was changed to "irregularities on the account" by FedEx.
As I'm explaining this to the "supervisor", he tells me that while I'm waiting on the check, I need to go to the store and buy 2 $100 I-Tunes cards, so I can provide them with the serial numbers on the cards in order to "unlock" their proprietary software. (Red flag 4).
This was what ultimately confirmed the scam for me. I reported the issue to Apple, who confirmed it was a scam, and then I reported it to IC3, the FTC and the FBI.
Well, the check arrived today, and conveniently enough was drawn on an out of state bank - i.e. one with no branch offices in my state (Georgia). So I called their customer service line and was informed in no uncertain terms that the cashier's check was a fake.
Then they tried to contact me on Google Hangouts again, asking me if I'd received the check and to confirm the amount ($3650) and when I was going to deposit it.
I informed them that Comerica had verified that the check was fraudulent, at which point they attempted to deny that, and I shut them down with "look, we both know you're trying to run a scam. This entire conversation from the beginning has been recorded and sent to the FTC, IC3 and the FBI."
So, long story short, if someone gives you a job offer online, then offers to send you a check for "required office equipment" that you are to buy only from their "approved vendor", don't bother. This is a variation on the "overpay" check scam, and if you deposit the "cashier's check" you will be asked to wire a large portion of it to their "vendor", only to find that you'll have an empty bank account and possible criminal charges instead of the equipment you thought you'd ordered for a job that doesn't exist.
So please please be careful.
Received an email stating something similar to "RESUME APPROVED" , and asking you to interview on Google Hangouts ? Take a minute and look at the email itself. Is it from a legitimate company email, or is it a Gmail account? That's red flag number 1.
This is a rather elaborate version of the check fraud scam, using mostly legitimate company names, with possibly an extra "-" or misspelling. A Google search will undoubtedly find the company name, as will a check on GlassDoor.com; however checking with the company will find that they don't hire remote help, they don't intend to open an office in your city, or that the person "hiring" you doesn't work there, or if the person exists at the company, they have no knowledge of the position you were offered. Red flag number 2.
How this is supposed to work is that you will engage in an "interview" on Google Hangouts, after which you will be told that you have been hired for an hourly rate for training, and then a larger amount for your "regular" wages. You will then be emailed supporting documentation, such as an offer letter and possibly direct deposit paperwork. In addition, you will be told that you need to purchase "office supplies" such as a laptop, printer, software, etc, however these things can only be purchased from their "approved" vendor. Red flag number 3 However, lucky for you, they will be sending you a large cashier's check to cover these expenses; upon receipt, you are to deposit the check in your personal account, and you are to keep X$ as your signing bonus, and then send the rest via wire to the vendor for your supplies.
In addition, you may be told that you need to buy I-Tunes cards so that the codes on the cards can be used to "unlock" their proprietary software.
None of this is true. They are after your bank information with the direct deposit form, then they are trying to have you deposit a counterfeit cashiers check in your bank account. The check may not come back immediately as a fake, however trust, it will. When the check bounces, you are then held legally responsible for the amount deposited, despite it being a fake check.
If by some misfortune, you have gotten to the check stage of this scam, take a moment and call the bank that the check is drawn on prior to depositing. Chances are that conveniently, there won't be a branch in your state. However, a quick check on the internet will provide a toll-free number for that bank's customer service.
Remember: a legitimate company will not be using a free email service such as Gmail, Hotmail, or similar. They will be using their own proprietary domain, such as USBank.com (used only as an example). In addition, a legitimate company will not be sending you a check for you to buy supplies "exclusively from their preferred vendor", or I-Tunes cards to "unlock" proprietary software. No legitimate company will ask for I-Tunes codes to unlock software, either.
Please take a few minutes to report this to the following authorities: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/Company#crnt , and https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
I hope I've managed to get this out in time for you to not be scammed.
If, unfortunately, you've already been taken, please contact the FTC and IC3, along with your local law enforcement.